Organizers Exceed the Number of Signatures Needed for Paid Sick Time Referendum

click to enlarge AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez Thompson fires up the crowd in front of City Hall. - SANFORD NOWLIN
Sanford Nowlin
AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez Thompson fires up the crowd in front of City Hall.
Labor and community groups this morning delivered 144,000 signatures to San Antonio's city clerk demanding that voters get to decide whether businesses should be required to give paid sick time for workers.

The group Working Texans for Paid Sick Time had promised to deliver at least 66,000 signatures, the amount it said would be required to place such a measure on the November ballot.

Around 100 activists, many clad in t-shirts representing their labor unions, rallied in front of City Hall, crowded around the cardboard boxes containing the signed petitions.

The AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez-Thompson lauded supporters for their work collecting signatures but warned that they'd need to keep working to build support with voters.

"We're going to have to fight to win," Chavez-Thompson said. "There's going to be opposition, and they're going to throw a lot of money into the pot."

Working Texans' proposed referendum would require employers to give one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at six or eight days per year based on the business' size. It's identical to a measure passed in February by the Austin City Council, and the group is also collecting signatures to seek a referendum in Dallas.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last month joined a suit filed by business interests to overturn Austin's policy, arguing it's an attempt by local lawmakers to usurp state authority.

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